When We Were

Forty Four: I’ll Tell You Whatever You Want To Know

Gently pushing the dark hair out of Luca’s face, Emilia quirked a soft smile, watching as the little boy snuffled gently in his sleep. She had wanted to check in on him, even despite Jordi and Samia’s insistence that he had gone to bed without any kind of fuss, she had wanted to ensure that he was still sound asleep, but it also had the added bonus of providing her with an excuse to stay out of the living room, knowing that Lionel would still be sat there and that the awkward silence that had followed them home wouldn’t have dissipated.

He hadn’t pressed it, after Isaac’s almost gleeful revelation that his relationship with Emilia had been longer, and more complicated than Emilia had made it out to be, Lionel hadn’t said much, but still Emilia was dreading the conversation. He worried about Isaac, about the prospect of her still having feelings for him, and despite it having been over an eternity before she and Lionel had gotten together, she knew that her not having mentioned it would have got at him. She knew, without him having said a word, that it had played into his idea that there was a chance that she and Isaac weren’t quite as finished with one another as they claimed.

Gently messing with Luca’s hair, she leant forwards and pressed a kiss against his forehead before she heard movement behind her, causing her to sigh gently before she turned, glancing sheepishly up at Lionel who’d stood in the doorway, clearly debating whether or not he should head into the room or not. Seeing that she had looked up at him, he let out a small nervous laugh, his cheeks flushing a light shade of pink, before he shook his head. “Em...”

“I was terrified” Emilia interrupted, keeping her voice soft and quiet as she turned back towards Luca “And Isaac...Isaac, despite everything, seemed to be the only one who understood that. I love Luca, and now, I wouldn’t change anything, but seven years ago? When I was a terrified 22 year old with a baby? I needed someone who understood how scared I was, how unsure, and Isaac did. My parents, Jordi...they were wonderful, but Isaac got it better than they could. He was in the same position as me” she added as she glanced up at Lionel, her eyes soft and unsure.

Lionel stood quietly for a second before he lowered himself towards the floor, sitting with his back against the open door. “You don’t have to justify it to me, Em” he noted gently.

“I know” Emilia replied “I just...I know that you worry about him. I want you to know that I am not trying to downplay what happened between him and me. I’ll tell you whatever you want to know” she added, gently smoothing the material of her dress over her lap.

Lionel watched her, allowing a beat of quiet to pass between them, before he cleared his throat. “A year?” he asked.

Emilia nodded, her eyes fixed on her lap. “About that” she confirmed “He showed up when Luca was about two months old, out of the blue, and we were...were sleeping together until a few days before Luca’s first birthday. It didn’t start as soon as he showed up, but it couldn’t have been more than a couple of weeks before it happened for the first time” she explained gently.

Lionel nodded. “Why did it end?” he asked.

Emilia’s lips quirked upwards into a slightly bitter smile. “Jordi broke his nose” she noted.

“What?” Lionel spluttered before he clapped his hand over his mouth, realizing that he had been a little too loud when Luca let out a grumble in his sleep.

Emilia offered him an amused look before she shook her head, messing with her dress again. “Jordi broke his nose” she repeated “He knew that Isaac was coming around to see Luca, I never hid that from him or my parents. They grumbled, but they got it, but when Jordi stopped by unannounced and found me half-dressed and Isaac coming out of my bedroom in just his boxers, he freaked. I thought it was an overreaction, I mean I knew that my family weren’t Isaac’s biggest fans and that that was to be expected, but I thought Jordi was making a big deal, even for him, but then he explained about the woman that he and Isaac shared classes with, Isaac’s girlfriend and...” she trailed off, offering a shrug in place of the end of her sentence.

Lionel’s expression softened. “He cheated on you?” he breathed.

“He cheated on his girlfriend” Emilia corrected “With me” she added, shrugging nonchalantly.

Lionel just stared at her, something which made her shake her head, sheepishly tucking her hair behind her ear. “I let myself believe that me and him and Luca could be a little family” she mused “I let myself believe that, despite all off the issues we’d had, he’d come back for the two of us and then Jordi showed up and poured cold water over all of that. I owe him for that” she added, letting out a little rueful laugh.

Lionel didn’t quite know what to say, so he just shifted in his seat, something which made Emilia smile at him gently. “That’s why it’d been so long since I’d been on a date before you fell back into my life, all awkward and shy” she mused “I told people that it was because I was busy, and between Luca and work, I was, but there was also a part of me that was terrified of putting myself out there again. I didn’t quite trust that anyone could actually want me for a very long time” she admitted.

“I want you” Lionel replied instantly.

Emilia laughed, a soft, warm sound. “I didn’t need you to say that” she mused “But I’ll admit, I like hearing it” she added.

“I mean it, Em” Lionel insisted as he reached a hand out towards her.

Emilia glanced at his hand before she placed her own into it, allowing him to pull her close until she was sat in his lap, her legs wrapping around his back. Quirking a soft smile, she felt him brush her hair off of her face before he tipped her head forwards, pressing his lips to her forehead. “I want you” he repeated quietly “I love you” he added.

Emilia smiled goofily, just relishing the moment for a few long seconds before she sat up, her blue eyes mirroring his darker ones. “I have no feelings left for him” she noted gently “He’s...he’s burnt all of the bridges between him and I, but he’s still Luca’s papa and despite everything, he’s good at that. I am not asking you to like him, I get that you can’t and honestly, I wouldn’t want you to, but it would be wonderful if there was one person in my life that didn’t get the urge to hit him whenever he walks into a room. He likes that, he likes knowing that he’s got some space up here” she added, tapping his forehead.

Lionel caught her hand, kissing her palm gently.

“I love you” Emilia whispered “You” she reiterated as she leant forwards, kissing his forehead softly.

Lionel grinned at the feel of her lips against his skin, his hand gently brushing up her side. “I believe I kept up my side of the deal” he quipped “I went to dinner with Isaac and you said....” he trailed off as Emilia giggled, shaking her head gently.

“Now?” she asked.

“I’m only here for a few more days” Lionel replied “How many more chances are we going to get?” he prodded with a crooked smile.

Emilia let out another giggle before Lionel’s hand cupped her jaw, guiding her into a soft kiss that she melted into, her body leaning closer to his. Kissing him slowly, she carefully stood up, guiding him up after her before she backed out of Luca’s bedroom. Pulling him along behind her, she felt her way across the hall before she knocked her own bedroom door open, turning to offer Lionel a soft smile. Lionel returned her smile gently before he closed the gap which had opened up between them, kissing her gently as his hand searched her back for the zip of her dress, tugging it downwards.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)